National Health And Welfare Fund

The Graphic Communications National Health And Welfare Fund

One of the GCC/IBT’s most recent additions to its broad array of union membership benefits is the Graphic Communications National Health and Welfare Fund.

The National Fund, which is governed by a board of GCC/IBT local union and employer representatives, was created in March 1997 out of the union’s former health and welfare pooling fund. Since then, the National Fund has grown to serve 32 groups in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

Unlike the former pooling fund, the National Fund is self-insured in most benefit areas and accepts both groups that belong to Taft-Hartley jointly trusteed funds as well individual employers with contracts with GCC/IBT local unions.

The National Fund provides a wide range of advantages. A major advantage is that your group becomes part of a large national group. By sharing risks and expenses, National Fund participants get more competitive and stable rates and low administrative costs. As the National Fund’s membership continues to grow nationwide, the National Fund increases its buying power and negotiating leverage in the health care marketplace. This increased leverage means the National Fund can offer excellent benefits at competitive rates, enhance stability in those rates, and the administrative costs per member get lower and lower.

The plan offers a variety of comprehensive and quality plans that can be combined in numerous ways to meet the needs of different employee groups. These include:

• A choice of six medical plans, both with in-network and out-of-network benefits and national providers.
• A choice of two HMO plans.
• A choice of three dental plans.
• A choice of three vision plans, all with in-network and out-of-network benefits.
• A choice of six prescription drug plans.
• A choice of two Medicare supplement benefit plans.
• Life, accidental death and dismemberment, and weekly disability benefit plans, with built-in flexibility in structuring the plans.

Another major advantage of the National Fund is that, unlike traditional insurance carriers, the National Fund’s goal is not profit or dividends to stockholders. Instead, the primary mission of the union and employer trustees is to provide the best quality coverage at the most affordable premiums possible in today’s health care market.

In addition to funding benefits, contributions to the National Fund also cover the costs of many other expenses, such as record keeping, professional fees, audits, government compliance, and communications. The fund maintains one centralized office and an exclusive group of professionals to perform all the complex administrative and technical tasks associated with maintaining quality health and welfare plans. This avoids duplication of cost and effort. And because their only job is to administer the fund’s benefit plans, the fund’s administrative staff is well-trained and highly dedicated to providing:

• Efficient administration and record keeping.
• Accurate and timely claims adjudication.
• Absolute focus on service to members and their families.
• Personalized service with a toll-free number.
• Access to in-network providers while at home or away through a web site database.
• Professional administrators who ensure complete and accurate compliance with increasingly complex government requirements and   administrative procedures.

By combining the efforts and commitments of employers, unions and Taft-Hartley Funds to provide quality benefits at an affordable cost, the National Fund creates something greater than what each individual group may be able to accomplish on its own. Because our strength in negotiating health care and other benefits grows as our number of members grows, we get better than better each time a new group joins the National Fund.

For more information about the Graphic Communications National Health and Welfare Fund, contact: Teresa Bauer, Benefits Administrator, 1-800-943-4248.